(Disclaimers in the ICBN)

Mats Wedin mats.wedin at EG.UMU.SE
Fri Nov 9 08:30:44 CST 2001

No disclaimers would prevent names that otherwise fulfil the ICBN art 29 to
be treated as effectively published. The discussion about Swedish theses
many years ago started by the author of one thesis claming in the summary
that the names introduced in earlier unpublished parts of the thesis was
not intended to be published in the dissertation. This was clearly not
enough and thus not to unintentionally publish names in theses, the names
must lack the latin diagnosis and combinations must lack references to

In another discussion, the aspect of 'vague' descriptions was treated, and
also here, there is nothing like a too vague diagnosis. If I remember it
correctly, the debate was around a lichen name where the latin diagnosis
was restriced to the one word 'niger' (=black) and in the discussion, it
was pointed out that this name of course is validly published, even if the
species in question in the end turns out to be white.

Mats Wedin

>----- Original Message -----
>From: José H. Leal <jleal at SHELLMUSEUM.ORG>
>Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2001 6:40 PM
>Subject: Re: Revisions in theses? (Disclaimer)
>>On the topic of disclaimers (sorry for temporarily shifting the "theses"
>>thread onto something else), how effective are them from a technical, ICZN
>>(or ICBN) standpoint?  [...]
>José H. Leal, Ph.D., Director
>Actually I am curious. Disclaimers in the ICBN seem to be fairly clearcut
>but there are gray areas. There appear two relevant items in the ICBN
>1) valid publication requires "a description or diagnosis" (Art 32.1.c) with
>a diagnosis defined as "... in the opinion of its author distinguishes the
>taxon from others." (Art 32.2)
>2) valid publication requires acceptance by the author (Art 34.1.a: "when it
>is not accepted by the author in the original publication;")
>So I am dealing with a case where a name was published and
>1) the author did not intend this as valid publication (it is something
>intended for the popular press and he intends to follow it up with a formal
>botanical publication to the state of the art. He states this explicitly.
>Unfortunately he dies before finishing his "real" work, which remains
>unpublished until much later).
>2) his "description" is so vague as to be barely recognizable (if that) as
>applying to that taxon (it is for the popular press!)
>3) the author does not accept the publication. However in a sense he does
>accept the name in that it is the one he (probably) will use in the
>publication that counts.
>4) botanical tradition is divided as to accepting these names, but these are
>in the Index Kewensis and several reference works. At least sort of (it is
>an early nineteenth century publication). Most of the names are of no
>consequence (synonyms when published, etc) but two remain of some currency.
>Any thoughts?
>Best, Paul van Rijckevorsel

Dr Mats Wedin, docent, PhD
Dept. of Ecology and Environmental Science (Inst. för Ekologi och geovetenskap)
Umeå University
SE-901 87 Umeå

Phone +46-90-786 7045/5139
Fax +46-90-786 6705

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